Lavender Earl Grey Latte

This is one of those indulgences where you think 'where have you been all my life?!' There's a little Italian market called Carlino's in West Chester, Pennsylvania that my mom was obsessed with for a time. It's essentially the same concept as DiBruno Brothers in Philadelphia. I wasn't impressed initially, but I decided to try it out with my mom and I fell in love. With a drink that is. They called it the Black Lavender, which to me evoked enticing images of contrast like tight black leather and the delicately supple and fragrant petals of a flower (and maybe something else...). What the drink actually consisted of was steamed milk and a hand made tea bag with black tea and lavender flowers. It tasted like heaven with the creamy milk, herbal bite of the lavender, and the mild caffeine buzz from the black tea. To make the experience even better, Carlino's sold French macarons at the bakery counter, including my favorite rose and lavender varieties. I went back recently to indulge again and to my dismay, they changed the Black Lavender recipe entirely and started using mass produced lavender syrup to flavor the tea instead of real lavender.

I decided to recreate the classic version at home and it's both easy and cheap. The most difficult part was finding culinary grade lavender, but Amazon made it fairly simple. I plan on making A LOT of these in the future, so I bought a half pound of dried lavender flowers for around $10. The bag is about the size of a cereal box. I also decided to swap out the plain black tea for earl grey, because earl grey makes everything better. The recipe I crafted is below and it turned out even better then I was expecting. It was just as good, if not better, then the drink I set out to recreate. After a little Pintrest research, I found that it's not a unique concept to Carlino's. The drink has it's origins in the UK and is often referred to as the London Fog. I'm all for foggy cities (they're my favorite), but the name doesn't call forth as much kink as Black Lavender, so I think I'll stick with the later name. Whatever the name may be, this drink is delicious. 

Lavender Earl Grey Latte 
(aka Black Lavender aka London Fog)

Serves 1

4 oz hot water
4 oz steamed milk of choice (I used almond milk)

Steep the tea bag and flowers in hot water for five to ten minutes. Meanwhile warm the milk. If you have a steamer, use it, otherwise heat the milk on the stove top or in the microwave. Once the tea is brewed, strain and pour it into the milk. If a steamer was used for the milk, the beverage is ready to enjoy. If not, pulse the liquid in a personal blender for a few seconds until the liquid becomes frothy.

{Even X loved it}

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